An old friend of mine got really upset at me this week for something I wrote about failed Santa Ana Mayoral candidate Alfredo Amezcua. I told him that Amezcua lied to the voters, by registering to vote at his law office, while living in a home that was NOT in the Rancho Santiago Community College District Area that he was elected to represent, but this fell on deaf ears.
I also got into it on Facebook this week with another Amezcua acolyte who said that Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido stole the election, in November. Really? People really believe that could happen? Astounding.
This got me to thinking – have the rabid Amezcua followers become a cult? Check out the definition of the word “cult” from Dictionary.com:
- A particular system of religious worship, esp. with reference to its rites and ceremonies.
- An instance of great veneration of a person, ideal, or thing, esp. as manifested by a body of admirers: the physical fitness cult.
- The object of such devotion.
- A group or sect bound together by veneration of the same thing, person, ideal, etc.
- A group having a sacred ideology and a set of rites centering around their sacred symbols.
No question about it. Charismatic people are able to start cults and cultivate them. Amezcua is indeed a charming guy, when he wants to be. But his followers, like the cultists they have become, are blind to the facts:
- Amezcua was Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido’s good buddy for some twenty years. They worked together many years ago to end gang violence. They worked together to recall Nativo Lopez. They were two peas in a pod, until 2008, when Amezcua inexplicably turned on Pulido, and talked Council Member Michele Martinez into running an ill-fated campaign for Mayor, against Pulido.
- While Pulido has moved steadily to the left, influenced by progressive Council Members Martinez, Sal Tinajero and Vincent Sarmiento, Amezcua moved to the right this year. He ended up allying with some of the most unsavory Latino bashers in Santa Ana.
- As I noted, Amezcua lied to the voters. I spoke to a Rancho Santiago Community College District Trustee recently who corroborated what happened. It was none other than former RSCD Chancellor Eddie Hernandez who found out Amezcua had committed fraud and asked him to resign from the Board. Amezcua did resign, but as he did so he told the public he was doing it to bring new blood to the Board. That was another lie.
- Amezcua also appears to have changed his name on traffic tickets, allegedly in order to avoid messing up his driving record.
- A few years ago, when Amezcua opened his now defunct Santa Ana Business Bank, I wrote that it was a bad idea. He had his lawyer send me a nastygram. Well, I was right. He sold the bank at a loss and his investors lost their shirts.
But none of this matters to the Amezcua cult. They simply ignore the facts. It is sad. Many otherwise good people have been fooled by this man.
I think a lot of this is because these folks uniformly hate Pulido. So while Amezcua was flawed, they jumped on board his campaign in order to get back at Pulido.
Pulido is what he is. He pushes the envelope at times but he is very careful. And he has been involved in many good votes this past year. He voted to support the Dream Act. He voted to honor Harvey Milk Day. He voted to condemn Arizona’s racist SB 1070. But the Amezcua cultists don’t care. In their book Pulido is bad, no matter what he does to the contrary.
I will say this for Pulido. He is a good family man. He goes to church. He is a longtime supporter of many non-profits and charities, and the arts. He does some things at times that some folks call unethical, but unlike Amezcua he has never lied to the voters.
As for Amezcua, I would be willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. But he needs to come clean about what he did and why he really quit the RSCCD Board.
What about the Amezcua cultists? They need to get a grip. They bought a bill of goods. It is time to face reality. Amezcua lost, and he lost badly. Time to move on people!